Title: Raptors showing strength when learning on the fly against Boston Celtics
Date: April 5, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I looked at how the Raptors adjusted to some of Boston’s adjustments within a mini two-game end-of-season series.
The Toronto Raptors have not been playing their best basketball over the last few weeks, and while you’d like to be at your sharpest entering the postseason, their struggles have at least afforded the opportunity to get a feel for the adjustments that become necessary. The Raptors do not figure to draw the Boston Celtics in the playoffs, barring an unlikely shake-out of the Eastern Conference bracket, but a two-game mini-series was still helpful in terms of how to adjust game-to-game.
The adjustments the Raptors made Wednesday, coming off of a somewhat dispiriting loss in The House of Affleck on Saturday, aren’t necessarily enormous take-homes for the postseason. Two of the biggest challenges Boston posed to Toronto are challenges that are at least somewhat unique to this thinned-out Celtics team.
Still, those adjustments are emblematic of a point I mentioned on the weekendin breaking down some of Brad Stevens’ tactical tweaks against Toronto: That Dwane Casey has become a pretty good between-games adjuster. This is twice now that the Raptors have adjusted well to a loss to Boston and showed notable improvement in the rematch, which was a pattern in each of the last two playoff runs. None of that applies to the Cavaliers, who remain a tough solve, but it only feels fair to note Toronto’s steps forward after pointing out their necessity a few days back.
What follows is a look at how Toronto responded to two big Celtics game plan items and continued emphasis points for the Raptors.